Tag Archives: Movies (2016)

‘Toni Erdmann’ a rich comedy of embarrassment

Although I’ve had my doubts about Halloween since I was a kid, it took Toni Erdmann to confirm what I disliked about disguises. As Winfried, the music teacher with peculiar ideas about reconnecting with corporate headhunter daughter Ines (Amour Fou‘s … Continue reading

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‘Cameraperson’ offers new ways of seeing

2016’s Acacdemy Award nominations for Best Documentary Feature were the best in many years, possibly the best in a quarter century. Cameraperson didn’t make the final cut, but won enough praise to justify the Criterion treatment. Kirsten Johnson’s montage of … Continue reading

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‘Hacksaw Ridge’ offers more Mel Gibson death porn

Only a man who loathes homosexuals can get such a hard-on for beautiful young men in extremis. Add long hair soaked in blood, mouths open in a combination of pain and ecstasy that Teresa of Avila can understand, and skeptics … Continue reading

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Freaks and androgyny

In “The Misunderstood Ghost of James Baldwin,” Ismail Muhammad analyzes how writers have taken the James Baldwin most commensurate with their own obsessions. His hook is a review of Raoul Peck’s 2016 I Am Not Your Negro: But rather than … Continue reading

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Best films of 2016 #1-5

We’ve reached the end. Older entries here. Click on the director’s name for links to the original reviews. 5. American Honey (Andrea Arnold) Named after a Lady Antebellum single to which I was indifferent seven years ago, Andrea Arnold’s first … Continue reading

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‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ — the problem of Funny Meryl

This week I watched Postcards from the Edge for the first time since the mid nineties. In its original release, the studio promoted the Mike Nichols picture as a Funny Meryl Streep Movie, a chapter in her career that also … Continue reading

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The best films of 2016 #5-8

8. Little Men (Ira Sachs) So immersive is a good friendship that its depths and contours aren’t obvious until its dissolution. Adolescent boys are less likely to plumb its depths. In Little Men, Jake and Tony’s friendship is borne of … Continue reading

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The best films of 2016 #9-12

Older entries here and here. 12. No Home Movie (Chantal Ackerman) In No Home Movie, Chantal Akerman asks: who is more in plain sight than our mothers, their presences taken for granted during birthdays, anniversaries, or forced conversations? Natalia Akerman, … Continue reading

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The best films of 2016 #13-16

16. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan) Manchester by the Sea is a rarity: an ebullient film about misery. Lonergan, one of Hollywood’s most prized script doctors and for whom grief is a muse, puts everything he has learned about … Continue reading

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The best films of 2016 #16-20

The expected caveats applied, 2016 was a marvelous year for me professionally and as a moviegoer. I realize I could have started this list of the twenty best (and runners-up) in February if not May when I have fully caught … Continue reading

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‘Paterson’ a leisurely, warm tour of a poet’s mind

A poet of abrupt accelerations and fanciful asides, William Carlos Williams is the last artist I’d associate with Jim Jarmusch. This director, whose fascination with stasis has produced some of the most enervating films of the last thirty years, has … Continue reading

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The worst movies of 2016

Soon I’ll mention my favorite films of 2016; I’m still catching up, but at some point I have to acknowledge I can’t catch every bumper (I’m glad I waited for The Other Side, though, and I watch Silence and rewatch … Continue reading

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